Random Observations

My thoughts on hunting and anti-hunters

My major in university was Political Science and I’ve always been very comfortable voicing my opinions on politics, society, human rights, religion, gender issues… basically on any topic. Some I can talk more intelligently about but I’ve always enjoyed a good discussion or debate about just about anything. As long as it is a discussion, that is. There is absolutely nothing that I hate more – other than possibly being spoken down to – than those with entirely black or white views. You know the type, when they disagree with whatever the topic is… it’s automatically evil.

Hunting is one of the topics – often more so, in Canada at least, than religion – that you find people who hold those black or white views. Often times, but not always, they grew up in the city and have absolutely no idea how meat gets on their plate. It comes from the grocery store, right? Because trust me, if they ever compared the process of how a cow becomes beef with how a deer becomes venison, they wouldn’t be quite so negative towards hunting. Or perhaps they would actually become vegan.

But, and I’m making a generalization based on those I’ve met in the past, most of those that decry hunting and call it murder… most of them eat meat. Hypocrites! Each and every one of them. If it’s murder to shoot a deer, why isn’t it murder to kill a cow or pig or chicken?

You might have guessed that I am not against hunting by now. In fact, while I don’t actually hunt myself anymore (I did once or twice as a teen, in fact I had my hunting licence then, now I just fish), it is part of my heritage (my grandmother was native Canadian, Ojibway to be exact). So when you call legal hunting – and I could go into great depth on why controlled hunting is a necessity – murder, you are not only pissing me off but you are insulting my heritage and I could make an argument that you are being unpatriotic. Hunting and trapping built this country – the Hudson Bay Company anyone? You are accusing law-abiding citizens of a crime that doesn’t exist. I could go on.

Beyond my personal sentiment aside, a controlled cull is like a controlled burn, a necessity at times. When a population gets out of control, it can affect the entire ecosystem or more likely, lead to starvation. Would you rather the deer die a quick death and be useful, even in death, as food? Or would you rather they die a slow, lingering death from starvation? Because it can and does happen.

What has sparked this seemly random rant about hunting? An old classmate posted a negative comment about the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) doing a controlled hunt – for five days – to thin the deer population on its grounds. Now for a charity to do this, you know these deer must be a severe problem and they would have first exhausted all the other possibilities because the probability for negative backlash is enormous. All the comments on the article I read certainly are.

And of course, it’s worse because it’s deer that they will be hunting. No bambi comments so far but because of the time of year, there’s a Rudolph comparison. To which I would like to reply that Rudolph has only been around since 1939, reindeer have been an important source of food and clothing to those native to the northern parts of the world for millenniums.

But for all that I proudly eat wild game whenever I’m able, I don’t care if you don’t. You can eat whatever you like, as long as it’s legal to do so. Nor do I care if you disagree with hunting in general or this case in particular, that’s your prerogative. In fact, it’s wonderful that we live in a country where we can form our own opinions and freely express them.

However, what I would like to convince you of – and what I will debate or argue for until I die – is that hunting isn’t murder! Humans are omnivores – we are meant to eat both vegetables and meat. And since I’m not a fan of my food still moving, it needs to first be dead. Hunting is simply one method – and when done properly, a very humane method – of putting food on my plate.

So before you make a knee-jerk reaction – hunting is murder, hunters are evil – take a moment and learn about Canada’s history and what the actual practice of hunting entails. Maybe add in some reading about how properly controlled hunting is a great conservation tool. Gain some knowledge; take time to form an informed opinion before you criticize please.

Thanks from a long line of proud Canadian hunters.

Oh, and you’d like to read the article that started this rant, I mean post, click here.

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